Several things have happened since I last posted to this blog. The most important being that I finally published THE VINTAGES :D
The sequel to Mindguard has been available for purchase since November 6th and it is already getting good feedback. I’m very happy about that because I’ve put a lot of thought and work into continuing the newly titled Mind Malignancy series in a way that would keep readers engaged. I don’t want to inadvertently fall into the creative trap of making every installment feel like “Mindguard Light”. Also, the more I write, the more this series seems to expand. I initially created Mindguard to be a stand-alone, then decided to develop it into a trilogy, then a tetralogy and so on.
Right now, the plan is to have four books following the main timeline and the story of the developing “New Mindwar” with a prequel to accompany each of them. The prequels will be stand-alone books that can be read independently of the main series. Their role is merely to expand the universe and offer the readers a chance to explore it on a journey that isn’t constrained by the narrative thread running through the "main timeline".
Want to know how a thoughtprotection agency usually works (when things don’t go horribly wrong) or what drives a person to become a Mindguard? Or perhaps you’d like to spend some more time with the characters before their lives get flung into chaos? You can find all of that in the prequels.
Speaking of prequels, the first one, AYERS, is coming along nicely and should be out sometime in spring 2016. I know I haven’t been quite adept at keeping my own deadlines so far, but that will change starting next year.
This is the BIG NEWS I wanted to tell you about. Starting December 2015, all of my books will be PROFESSIONALY EDITED. This includes the manuscripts for Mindguard and The Vintages, which will both be updated by the end of January. The editing process will not modify anything on the creative side (story, characters and the like), but will eliminate any spelling, grammar or syntax issues that might have escaped my roughly 406 drafts or the watchful eye of my beta-readers.
So far, everything about Mindguard and The Vintages is my own work. I plotted, wrote, proofread, edited, double-triple-and-quadruple checked, formatted, created the covers and marketed the books all by myself. That is too much work to be done by a single person, and it shouldn’t have to be, when there are very capable people out there who specialize in all of these aspects of publishing.
So far, I’ve gone at it alone because I’m just very controlling when it comes to my work, so I want to have as much freedom as possible (hence the self-publishing aspect) but also because even professional proofreading was just not a financial possibility until this moment. I’ve done everything in my power to get these books in the best possible shape I could. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for three years now and it has taken a great toll on my life, my health and creativity. Sharing a bit of the burden will give me more time and energy to focus on the thing I should be doing: telling stories. I will still handle developmental editing personally and, after the manuscripts are decent shape, I will send them out to be professionally proofread and checked at a linguistic level.
It’s very important to me that my readers get the absolute best reading experience and are able to immerse themselves into the story entirely, without distracting elements like typos or grammar errors and the like. I managed to bring the books to 99% (so to speak) but in order to get them to 100% they will require a fresh set of skilled eyes.
Fortunately, I’ve found an editor who seems to understand what the manuscripts need at this point and is dedicated to helping me get them to 100%. Hopefully, this will turn into a successful long-term collaboration.
This also means I can most likely double my publishing speed and put out more stories for you to enjoy. Speaking of which, I’ve been spending these last few days outlining the next book (which has the working title THE WEIXMAN PARADOX) and brainstorming ideas for the sequels. I always love getting detailed feedback from my readers, so I decided to create a poll where you can vote for your favorite character from Mindguard and The Vintages. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to vote. It will be immensely helpful in the process of evaluating my character-building abilities and trying to decide around which characters to focus the prologues.
You can vote below.
I’ll be away from my PC for a few days, vacationing in Italy (Florence and Bologna this time) to celebrate my 30th birthday. Wow - 30 years. It feels like only 360 months (haha). I’m looking forward to seeing Italy again and to starting work on AYERS when I return.
For now, I'd like to share with you an early present I received from my lovely wife, featuring our beloved Picky. Isn't she the cutest baby bunny you've ever seen?